KC Gardens

It’s time to apply for the Kansas Master Naturalist Program

From Johnson County K-State Research and Extension:

If you’re interested in nature and enjoy working with others then the Kansas Naturalist program may be just the opportunity for you. Applications are now being accepted for the 2016 Kansas Master Naturalist training program.

Kansas Master Naturalists (KMN’s) are local K-State Research and Extension volunteers that spend their time removing invasive species from public properties, educate youth on Kansas geology, clear vegetation at local wetlands, maintain and collect data on bluebird trails and conduct educational walks on prairie plants and bird identification. Past projects have also included the development of a Prairie Center nature trail smart phone application with the Johnson County AIMS department.

Any resident of Johnson County, Kansas, or the greater Kansas City metro area, age 18 or over, who has an interest in natural resources can apply. The deadline for application is Feb. 29. Training sessions will be each Wednesday, March 23 - May 25 from 6 to 9 p.m. All classes will be conducted at the Johnson County K-State Research and Extension Office, 11811 S. Sunset Drive, Suite 1500 in Olathe. There is a $115 administration fee for those accepted into the class. Acceptance notices will be sent out at in early March.

The mission for the program is to develop knowledgeable and dedicated citizens who are active in promoting awareness, understanding and stewardship of the natural heritage of Kansas. Applicants who are selected for the program will receive intensive 40 hours of classroom and hands-on instruction in natural resource concepts. In return, newly trained recruits will be required to volunteer 30 hours of volunteer service each year, on environmental projects that benefit the community. Areas of training include: Ecology, geology, soils, weather and climate, plants, birds, insects, mammals, herpetology, ecosystem management, and education and interpretation.

If you are interested in applying for the program, or would like more information, please contact Dan Lekie, county Extension director and Natural Resources agent with Johnson County K-State Research and Extension at 913-715-7012, dan.lekie@jocogov.org or visit www.johnson.ksu.edu and click on the “Volunteers” link for details.